Keith Green, APR (@KeithsTweets) is relatively new to his job as VP of Marketing & Commercial Sales at Guinness World Records (@GWR) but that hasn’t stopped him from directing the company’s efforts to jump in feet-first and become involved with PRSA.
His background in entertainment and events seems to be a perfect match working for one of the world’s most fun and recognizable brands. He spent six years in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, nine years in the NASCAR field as the Director of Public Relations for two different racetracks and eight years for Synergy, an award-winning events agency in New Jersey. Keith’s experience also includes several adjunct faculty positions, where he’s shared his sports marketing and PR experience with undergraduate and graduate students.
We caught up with Keith in advance of PRXNE16, PRSA Northeast District Conference, where Guinness World Records will the Platinum Sponsor.
Q: Your involvement with PRSA has spanned quite a few years. Tell us about your experience with the organization.
I’m a big believer in PRSA. Membership is a great way to interact with like-minded people and learn from the best in the PR business. My career has advanced and my network has grown because of the local chapter events and the international conferences I’ve attended over the years. While it’s like most anything else- you get what you give- (Keith served on the PRSA-NY board for three years and received his APR certification four years ago) PRSA is a terrific organization and I’m bullish on its growth.
Q: Most everyone knows Guinness World Records through the book. What can you share about your role?
A: For our U.S. office (headquarters are in London, with offices in Japan, China and Dubai) I oversee our book marketing initiatives, as well as our commercial sales efforts. Our book, which is still a best-seller, launches every September (although it will be August 30 this year), and our marketing efforts are geared toward the readers (the kids) and those who buy it for them or influence them-teachers, moms and grandmothers. Although the 2017 book will be our 61st edition, the commercial side of our business is relatively new. Companies of all types work with us to have a judge oversee a record attempt and use our logo to pre-promote the attempt, post-event if the attempt is successful, as well as in promotional videos. Although our business is more than six decades old, we continue to evolve, which is extremely exciting.
Q: You started at Guinness World Records about seven months ago. Why do you think it’s a good fit to be involved with PRSA and why are you doing it so quickly?
A: Relationships are important to me. I know the organization and people well, so that’s critical. Because of those factors, I know that when we attend and activate at a conference that we will have the opportunity to show our creativity and add value for the attendees. Working with PRSA also gives us the opportunity to connect with our various target audiences-those PR and marketing pros who work at agencies, brands, non-profits and educational institutions. That’s the beauty of record breaking- it works for just about any kind of business.
Q: How do your marketing and PR teams work together?
A: Nearly every day, a cool record is being broken somewhere across the globe. Since our PR team oversees our digital efforts, it’s critical that we communicate about what’s happening and how we can leverage some of those record attempts in a timely fashion from a marketing perspective. A great, recent example is Dude Perfect, which broke a series of amazing basketball records last month. The content and resulting video were amazing, and it helps us tell a story to an audience we might not reach as easily.
We also work together on two major events throughout the year- our Book Launch event in the late summer (August 30 this year) and Guinness World Records Day-where we encourage people all over the world to break records- on November 10.
Q: You’ve taught marketing and PR at a few universities. What would you tell someone graduating from college or a recent grad about breaking into the PR field?
A: I always tell my students, “If you can write well, you are ahead of 90% of the people in the workforce.” It doesn’t matter if you are writing an email to a client, a speech for the president of your company, a blog post or a concise Tweet, writing is still a fundamental skill that many people lack. I believe social media and texting have further eroded that skill for many of us, not just the younger generations.
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